How Can SMEs Effectively Market Online? A Four Step Ecommerce Framework

, ,

Last week, ETDA Thailand launched ‘Ecommerce Week‘ to give SMEs a chance to match with service providers that could help them gain an online presence facilitated through a special ‘business matching’ segment. During the week long event, many speakers were invited to share their learnings in building an online business.

The proportion of SMEs is high in Thailand but the government has stated that small businesses hold the key to the country’s economic future. According to The Nation, out of 2.7 million SMEs and startups of all sizes, 600,000 are registered as various types of juristic people and the rest as individuals in Thailand. The aim of the event was to educate SME owners about ecommerce; how to effectively sell online, which tools they should utilize and how to target customers based on their product.

This is the ecommerce framework for SMEs as presented by aCommerce Director of Internet Marketing, Orakarn Chantaramungkorn.

Watch Orakarn’s presentation in Thai here: [embedyt][/embedyt]


How can SMEs effectively sell online? 

The Ecommerce Framework model is composed of four key components:

  1. Product
  2. Customers
  3. Testing
  4. Tracking

Product: Think about the product that you’re selling. How does it differentiate, is it better than the competition? Price is an important element. A consumer would be less likely to choose between a Chinese android and a Samsung phone if the price of the two devices were comparable.

Customers: It’s vital to think about consumer trends. For example, the health food and clean eating trend is booming in Thailand. This prompted Korea King to launch pans that don’t require oil to cook. Asia Insurance also launched ‘Pokesurance’ to tap into Thailand’s Pokemon Go craze.

  • When targeting users on Facebook, also personalize your advertisement the best you can to your product’s target group. For example, middle aged men may not be as receptive to an advert on facial cleansers as much as women in their late twenties would be.
  • Always link to the right product that potential customers are clicking on, whether the ad appears on Facebook or a web page. Understand your engagement.


Let’s talk numbers

Allocating customer retention budgets is similar to arranging a stock portfolio. It’s important to think about how to reduce the cost of your online ads.

The recruiting metrics of your business depends on your budget, earnings and profits. To balance it out, calculate your earnings and costs with the number of customers you have, combined with how many times a returning customer returns, and you’ll have a realistic valuation of how much one customer is worth.

How to keep customers

Customer retention will depend on the following:

  • Type of product offered by your company (i.e. diapers, coffee are things customers will buy more than once)
  • High quality product and service
  • After sales communication (LINE is very effective in reaching out to returning customers)

Line offers a way to personalize communication with customers, which contributes to a higher return rate

A customer’s decision journey

Before a customer decides on a purchase, he/she goes through a journey of online discovery:

  • Facebook marketing
  • Google search
  • Influencer marketing
  • Price comparison site
  • Email marketing
  • Retargeting


Testing: Business owners can test different ads/banners depending on their target audience. A campaign can use the same budget, timing and same advertisement copy but be sent to two different target groups.

  • Test an advertisement with a target group of 30 year olds and a group of 50 year olds and then measure the results to see which one is most effective.

Tracking: Use Google Analytics to track results, and analyze your customer shopping behavior. Ensure that your account is set up correctly for accuracy in numbers, which can be later used to maximize later campaigns and improve your business success.

  • Facebook Shop allows business owners to track impressions, clicks and orders for better management of your page.
  • Having awareness of your target customers, a platform to track performance and most importantly, a reliable product means you’re on your way to starting an online business.

For more information about ETDA and their upcoming events, click here.